Posts Tagged ‘Mother Nature’

Buck Off

July 5, 2014

Wednesday July 2nd, 2014 – Island Lake, IL

That Mother Nature can sure be one icy hearted cruel bitch when she wants to. I have been in a one way love affair with the game of basketball ever since I was old enough to know what it was, but she personally saw to it a marriage between basketball and I would never be consummated.

I loved baseball and football too, but basketball was my favorite – probably due to the fact that my hometown Milwaukee Bucks were the only winning local team besides Marquette University basketball coached by Al McGuire, then known as the Warriors. All the other local teams stunk.

Like most school kids, I was delusional and cocksure I was going to have my pick of any major professional sport I was going to play – maybe even two or three. I would make the Hall of Fame in at least one, and then I’d spend the rest of my life signing autographs at baseball card shows.

Little did I know Moms Nature had other plans. She left my toolbox completely bare of any of the tools I would need to play any sport professionally including badminton, bocce or full contact Chinese checkers. I’m Caucasian, clumsy and never came close to being six feet tall. Game over.

That didn’t mean I wasn’t a great fan, and I followed all my local sports teams in Milwaukee as I grew up. The Bucks were my team, and in high school I got a job as a ball boy. That was going to be as close as I would ever get to participating in professional sports, but I had fun anyway.

It’s been painful to be a Bucks fan since Senator Herb Kohl bought the team in 1985, but if he hadn’t they would have left town. I’ve continued to cheer for them, but that’s like cheering for a sheep in a wolf pack. All the cheering in the world won’t help, even if the intentions are sincere.

I was holding out hope when the team was recently sold to a pair of billionaires, but that hope was violently dashed to the pavement this week when the team hired Jason Kidd to be their new head coach. I don’t care one way or the other about Jason Kidd, but how the owners handled the situation spoke volumes. They botched it to the highest degree, and it was totally uncalled for.

Larry Drew was the coach of the team last year, and they had the worst season in their history. He was in a no win situation, but I thought he handled it with class and professionalism. That had to be a nerve shredding meat grinder, but he hung in there to the end of what was a brutal season.

It’s not uncommon for new owners to come into a situation and put their own stamp on things. I was the victim of it several times in radio, and that’s why I was so sensitive to Larry Drew and his situation. I wasn’t surprised that he was let go, but it was done in a way that lost my fandom.

I know he’s got a guaranteed contract for two more years and will be making millions without having to work, but that’s not the point. Couldn’t they sit the guy down and explain things like a human being rather than let it play out in the media? No human deserves to be treated like cattle.

Not that it means anything to the new owners or anybody else, but I’m not going to cheer for a team that handles business like this. The San Antonio Spurs don’t, and they win championships. I love how they do business on and off the court, and they are my new team. Buck off, Bucks.

This is the logo of the Bucks teams I cheered for since I was a kid. Their new billionaire owners lost me in their first week.

This is the logo of the Bucks teams I cheered for since I was a kid. Their new billionaire owners lost me their first week.

Health Issues

August 16, 2013

Thursday August 15th, 2013 – Fox Lake, IL

   Although I barely remember it, when I was a wee lad I spent about ten days in the hospital with a pretty serious case of pneumonia. From what my grandparents told me in later years, they were not completely sure I was going to make it out. I must have been three or four years old at most.

   From what I heard through childhood, the doctors told me I’d be susceptible to pneumonia for the rest of my life. Oh, boy! There’s something to look forward to. I suppose it could have been a lot worse, as kids get all kinds of diseases. Some of them die before they grow up. Life isn’t fair.

   As I grew up, every few years or so like clockwork I’d get sidelined with a miserable infection that knocked me out of commission for several days. It always seemed to be in the summer when I was out of school, and I remember how cheated I felt. Why couldn’t I get it in the school year?

   It’s been a long time since I’ve had ‘the crud’ as my grandparents used to call it, but I’m afraid it’s back by unpopular demand. I started to feel all congested on Sunday out of the blue, and then on Monday a barking cough came along with it. I’m not a doctor, but it sure feels like it used to.

   I don’t think it helps that I’ve never had my tonsils out either. For whatever reason the doctors chose to leave them in, and it’s been another source of random infections. Every once in a while they swell up to the size of raviolis and I fight a brutal sore throat for a few days. Then it’s done.

   My entire medical history has been rather freakish at best. I didn’t have the chicken pox until I was 19, and I don’t know of anyone else who had them that late. Supposedly it can cause one to be sterile, so maybe it was Mother Nature’s way of preventing me from spreading my freak gene.

   Another thing I found odd as a kid was that I contracted pink eye – TWICE. Who gets it once? None of my friends ever got it, and I don’t know how I did. The doctor said I probably got it at a public pool where I was taking swimming lessons, but who knows? I just remember it was icky.

   Other than those few glitches though, I’ve been remarkably healthy. I’m not one of those types that catch a cold every year, and I’ve never ever had a flu shot. It seems like those that get a shot are always the first ones to get sick, and I’ve never trusted the procedure. I’ve taken my chances, and so far I haven’t caught the bug. If the Black Plague comes back, I’ll think about a shot then.

   If it’s in the cards for someone to get a disease, they’re going to get it. Genetics have a lot to do with everything about our lives. My grandmother was a compulsive neat freak to the point of her constantly scrubbing her telephone receiver, doorknobs and toilet seat. She’d bring a Tupperware container filled with soap and water in the car when she went somewhere in case she needed it to sanitize something. Wouldn’t you know it that she of all people happened to contract ringworm.

   I found that to be hilarious as a kid. Here’s the one person that could give Felix Unger a run for his money on cleanliness, and she gets ringworm. Gramps found it funny too, and it was the start of one of their biggest arguments I had ever seen. Grandma had ZERO sense of humor about it.

   Another weird case was Andy Kaufman. Somehow he managed to contract lung cancer but had never smoked a cigarette in his life. How does this happen? It’s some kind of genetic freak show, and none of us can control it. The instant that one single sperm hits the egg, our destinies are set. I shouldn’t complain that I get a coughing spell every few years. At least it’s not pink eye again.